African American history celebrations can be traced back to 1926 in the United States. However, it wasn’t until 50 years later that President Gerald Ford signed a proclamation naming February ‘Black History Month.’ Ford asked Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized February as Black History Month and since then, every president has done the same. Each president endorses a specific theme. The 2018 theme is “African Americans in Times of War.” This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I and the theme honors the roles that Black Americans have played in warfare since the American Revolution.

Black History Month celebrations are plentiful across the U.S. during the month of February, and Colonial encourages its employees to get involved with the Black History Month celebrations within their communities. In conjunction with this year’s theme, the Civil War Trust has a list of events happening across the nation at various Civil War battlefields and historic sites.

You can also celebrate and explore Black History Month programming airing on PBS and local affiliate stations during the month of February. They also have sections on their website that allow you to further explore Black History, including an interactive pop quiz where you can test your knowledge!

 “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”
—Booker T. Washington

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